If it feels like your SEO team is constantly talking about the latest Google update and its impact on your website, you’re not alone. As the world’s largest collection of information, Google’s Search index contains hundreds of billions of web pages and is over 100,000,000 gigabytes in size.
Those pages are constantly jockeying for position in relevant search results, making search an incredibly dynamic space. What’s more, thousands of unconfirmed changes happen each year. In fact, Google conducts hundreds of thousands of search experiments yearly and made over 4,000 improvements to the search experience in 2021 alone.
Google has gotten better recently at telling the SEO community when an impactful update is coming. But this wasn’t always the way. For many years, Google updates went unannounced and unconfirmed, causing rampant speculation in the SEO industry about what the update entailed, which types of websites and pages were impacted, and how to recover. This speculation bred myths and demystifying them was no easy feat.
We know more about those historic updates today, and how they’ve helped shape the search experience for consumers. In this guide, we’ll explore ten of the best-known Google algorithm updates from the last 20+ years, and how each one contributed to search as we know it today.
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